The best time to go to college is immediately following high school. Taking a break from education is the wrong idea. Life, such as the need to work to support yourself and your family, your health and raising children all contribute to a major lack of time for self improvement. Similarly, statistics show that many nontraditional students have an exceedingly difficult time in managing their many responsibilities. These students tend to drop out of colleges more frequently than do traditional students because of the increased strain and stress that concurrent roles inflict upon the student. Life becomes a juggling act of responsibilities, and perceived priorities take precedence over college. Additionally, take the time to apply for as many scholarships, grants and loans that you are eligible for while you are still in high school. Nothing is more important than finding ways to make college more affordable right out of high schools doors, and finding ways to meet this goal is a great way to begin the road to success. Finally, ensure that you maintain a high level of performance while still in high school, as this may qualify you for more great scholarship opportunities.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself about college, I suppose I would start by grabbing my former self and shaking him while shouting "For the love of God take some AP courses!". I was smart enough to take them and could have absolutely used the early credits, but I digress. Next, after Former Self recovered from the shock of such an unlikely occasion as running into yourself from the future, I would tell him to start applying for scholarships immediately. College is expensive, and since it will probably never rain money I should have taken more time to worry about the next four years instead of the next Saturday. Thirdly, I would tell myself that a community college is no less of a college than any other college so buckle down and take it seriously. Finally, I would tell myself to relax. I was nervous to go to college. Everyone I had known for 12 solid years of school would be swapped for an almost entirely new bunch of people. Fortunately I could safely tell myself that these people were pretty cool and that I would make new friends fast. I would eventually love college.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior about the transition to college I would tell myself to not give up. I would assure myself that a college degree is worth all the effort and will pay off in the long run. Completing college, before starting a family, would be the wisest advice I could give to any graduating senior. In the past 25 years, I have started my college education and then put it on hold to get married, have children, and work in an office. While I love the life I have now, I also know it would have been so much easier to finish my schooling back then. Both my husband and myself have chosen to return to school later in life. While we are reaping the rewards of my husband's degree in respiratory therapy, we are looking forward to the day when I am working full time again rather than going to school. The opportunities for scholarships and aid is much greater right out of high school as well. If I could go back in time I would tell myself to stay in college, get your degree!!
If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior I would tell myself to spend a long time searching for the right college. I was a lazy high school senior and didn't want to fill out applications or do college searches so I just applied to community college. Community college is a smart decision especially financially, but it's not for me. I'm looking to transfer for the fall to a four year institute away from home. Although I saved a lot of money this year, I wish I had gone away to a more challenging and larger school with more to offer. At my current school it is mostly just liberal arts courses offered. There isn't much of a chance to explore one particular field or take any fun classes. I took the intro to philosophy class at my school and really liked it. I was going to sign up for another philosophy class, but there isn't any more offered. If I could go back in time I would have researched colleges and picked one with a lot of course offerings and campus activities.
I am a very shy person. In high school, I stayed with the same group of friends and rarely did anything without at least one present. If I could go back and my tell high school senior self anything it would be to not be afraid to do things on your own. I know that I can accomplish many things in my life and overcome the many obstacles life will through at me. I would tell myself, "Don't be afraid of the unknown and what's to come. You can do this all on your own. You know when you need to ask for help, and if you do need help, don't be afraid to ask for it." I would want myself to be more prepared for transitioning from a "big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a big pond." I would encourage myself to deviate from the activities I usually do and try new experiences, and stress to myself not to be afraid. I would want myself to be more independent, not to rely on others as much. New challenges arise everyday, and I'm sure I can accomplish them.
If I could travel backwards, and see myself waltzing through the halls of my old high school in that itchy wool skirt and a look of naive, wide-eyed optimism plastered on my face, I would tell myself that one of the most important factors in choosing a college is if there are lots of resources, from peer tutoring to theatre clubs that will help you succeed and thrive in school. Also, don't be afraid to join lots of clubs and groups on campus. It's a wonderful way to meet new people and to familiarize yourself with the college. One more thing, is not to be fooled by the perfect veneer that schools will display on college visits. Try to observe the students you see and pay close attention to every little detail. Try to stay in touch with reality and make a wise decision. Good luck!
Don't rush into college you are not ready for it yet and you are going into it for the wrong reasons. Give yourself time to figure out what you really want to study, art isn't it. Stay away from boys while taking classes, they will only distract you. Take college seriously, life will be much harder if you don't.